More On Frazer DNA

In this blog, I’d like to finish a few thoughts on Frazer YDNA and look at some new Frazer autosomal DNA Results.

YDNA Thoughts and Summaries

  1. The 2 Frazer Lines have now successfully tested their YDNA. The YDNA test Jonathan and Paul took is called a 37 STR (Short Tandem Repeat) test. This test has indicated a common SNP Haplogroup for the 2 lines called R1a-L664.
  2. As the 2 Frazer Lines indicate a match, this gives us confidence in our genealogy and in the autosomal DNA matches testers have between the Archibald and James Frazer Lines.
  3. These 2 tests have resulted in a unique STR signature for each line. This STR signature is called a Haplotype.
  4. The difference in the STR values between the 2 Frazer Line YDNA test results is called the Genetic Distance (GD). The GD between the 2 lines is 3 by FTDNA.
  5. When I count the GD by hand, I get a difference of 4, but FTDNA tells me this about the CDY marker: “CDY is counted using the infinite allele method. ┬áBasically this marker is so volatile we can see multiple numeric value jumps in a single mutation. ┬áSo even if it is off by five it would still only be counted as a genetic distance of 1.” So that explains the anomaly.
  6. I had expected the GD to be lower between the 2 lines. The 2 testers should have a common ancestor 7 generations from present if our genealogy is correct. This person is believed to be Archibald Frazer b. about 1690.
  7. Some STRs have a rate of change must faster than others. The markers that have changed between the 2 lines are the faster moving markers.
  8. The haplotype for the YDNA test representing the James line appears to me to be more likely to be the haplotype of the Archibald Frazer b. about 1690. This is difficult to determine based on only 2 YDNA tests. However, I base my theory partly on the fact that the haplotype representing the Archibald line has many fewer matches to other testers than the one representing the James Line. My theory is that the Archibald Line YDNA has mutated to a more distinct state from that of the original YDNA and thus has fewer matches.
  9. More STR testing has been ordered to further refine the 2 Frazer Line Haplotypes. These results should be out by the latter part of January 2016.

I hope that makes sense. Please email me if you need further clarification.

You Gotta Lovat

All this YDNA testing has created renewed interest in some of the Project Members concerning family lore of descent from the Lord Lovat Branch of the Frasers. YDNA can certainly reach to that era and beyond.

Part of Jonathan's YDNA Match Map
Part of Jonathan’s YDNA Match Map

These striking results show that 3 out of 4 of Jonathan’s YDNA mapped matches have their most distant ancestors located in NE Scotland. At least one part of the family lore has the earliest Frazers at Keith. Notice on the map above that Keith is located to the East of the middle marker. To me, this supports traditions of the Frazers being in NE Scotland at some time before being located in Stirling and Ayrshire to the SW of Scotland. The leap of faith part is believing that both these families were in that area about 500 years or more before our respective families’ earliest verifiable ancestors.

Back to the Autosomal DNA

While we’ve been pondering our Frazer YDNA results, the autosomal testing has been moving on apace. Patricia (or Pat’s) results have come in. I was interested in her results for the following reasons:

  • Her second cousin Bill had many matches. Some of these were also with the James Line Testers
  • Pat, Bill, Paul and I also share a pair of Frazer cousin ancestors who married. These were James Frazer and Violet Frazer. DNA representing Violet’s father has already been found by triangulation. However, James’ DNA and certain genealogy have been more difficult to nail down.

Pat’s Genealogy

In an earlier Blog, I touched on Pat’s second cousin Bill’s genealogy. I’d like to expand on that here. Bill and Pat have as their common ancestors, George Frazer b. 1858 in Martinsburg, New York and his wife Susan or Susanna Price. According to one Ancestry tree, the handsome family looked like this:

Frazer Price

I mention this, because half of the autosomal DNA that Pat and Bill share would be from Susan Price. Now, again, according to Ancestry, Susan Price’s parents were John Price and Margaret Stinson both born in or around Enniskillen, Ireland. Perhaps this Margaret Stinson was related to this George’s mother’s grandmother Ann Stinson. If so, do you think that will complicate the DNA results?

Here is the DNA that Pat and Bill share in orange (representing George Frazer and Susan Price) as seen on FTDNA’s Chromosome Browser:

Pat and Bill's Shared DNA

Frazers in Martinsburg, New York in the 1850s

Here on the bottom 3 lines of the New York State 1855 Census are George Frazer’s parents: Richard Frazer and Ellen Hassard or Hazard. As mentioned above, Ellen is also the granddaughter of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson.

Richard Frazer 1855 Census

I have included the Johnston family above because the father William Johnston was married to Mary Frazer, daughter of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. So you are perhaps seeing a Stinson pattern here as well as a Frazer pattern. In fact, in the 1901 Census for Clanwilliam, Marquette, Manitoba, we see a William Stinson b. in Ireland living near the George Frazer family. Also living in the Frazer house was George’s mother, the (by 1901) widowed Ellen (Hassard) Frazer.

Then on the previous census page of the 1855 New York Census for Martinsburg:

Hazards 1855

Here is yet another Frazer. Ann Frazer is the younger sister of Mary Frazer Johnston. I have that Ann married a John Hazard on 24 Dec 1824 at Ardcarne, Roscommon, Ireland; by licence. John tried to confuse me by going by William in the US, but apparently he is one and the same.

Let’s go back 5 years to the US Federal Census of 1850 in Martinsburg:

Patrick Frazer 1850

and on the next page:

Patrick Frazer 1850a

Here is a James Line Frazer. Patrick Frazer would be a second cousin once removed to Mary Frazer Johnston and Ann Frazer Hazard. We have this Patrick married to a Jane Lacy. However, other Ancestry trees have him married to a Jane Mostown. In the 1855 census, Jane appears to have a middle initial of M. However, the 2 Janes are either the same, or Patrick remarried a second Jane. Or, less likely, there was more than one Patrick Frazer! This sidetrack shouldn’t effect the DNA results, but it is interesting to see how these Irish families stayed together in the US.

Two Side by Side Triangulation Groups

When I started looking at Pat’s results, I noticed a new Triangulation Group (TG) right near an existing one.

2 TGs with Jane

The existing TG has Jane, Doug and Michael and clearly indicates that the DNA represents that of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. We know this because Doug does not to his knowledge have multiple Frazer lines – that is, Frazer ancestors marrying Frazer ancestors.

The newer TG is on the top and includes Bill, Pat and Jane. Note that Jane is in both groups. Also note that this could indicate the common ancestor the 3 have in Richard Frazer b. about 1777. Frankly, I’m quite puzzled and stumped as to who this TG represents. I have ordered a book on Endogamy by Israel Pickholtz. Perhaps that will help. Note also that Bill and Pat match each other to location 170,00,000 (say 170) This is the area where Jane, Doug and Michael match each other, but they don’t show a match with those 3 in that area. This will take some thought to decipher.

DNA Going Two Different Ways

In a previous blog, I noted difficulty in finding the DNA from my Frazer ancestor James Frazer. He was married to a Violet Frazer who I could find due to triangulation with her father Richard. Some matches with Pat may indicate additional DNA Pat and my family share that came down from this Frazer couple.

Pat Chr 4

Here, I have Pat’s match with me (JH) on Chromosome 6. I included above that, Pat’s cousin Bill’s match with Cathy. See they are at similar locations. However, these 2 sets of matches indicate different ancestors. The Bill and Cathy match represent DNA from the Archibald Frazer Line. I am not related on that line. So even though this segments overlaps, it could never triangulate. The match I have with Pat is most likely with James Frazer and Violet Frazer. This is what I think the above means. Remember George Frazer who was born in Martinsburg. Also remember, on each Chromosome we get DNA from both our parents or rather 2 sets of Chromosomes (one Paternal set and one maternal set). George had on one Chromosome #6 DNA from his father Richard Frazer and and on the other Chromosome #6, DNA from his mother Ellen Hazard.

George and Pat Frazer Tree

It looks like George passed on his father’s Richard Frazer DNA to Richard Price “Pat” Frazer. This is easy to remember because “Pat” is the ancestor of our Frazer DNA tester Pat. This is the line that would match with me, as Richard is the son of James Frazer and Violet Frazer. The maternal Hassard Line carrying the Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson DNA went to George Harvey on our tester Bill’s line. This is the line that matches with Cathy. So in these 2 set of matches, we appear to be splitting out the related ancestors. Complicated. But at least I have an explanation for it, unlike the previous triangulation case.

Finally, here’s a match on Chromosome 9 between Pat and Sharon for about 11 cM. I take this to represent the DNA of my kissing cousin ancestors James and Violet Frazer.

Pat Sharon Match

A Triangulation Group with a Genetic Genealogist: But Who Are the Common Ancestors?

The next Triangulation group is with a genetic genealogist named Jennifer (JZ below). I mentioned that she was in a TG with Cathy and Jane in a previous blog about Cathy’s DNA results written August 2015.

Pat Jenn TG

This TG has Pat, Cathy, Jane and Jennifer. But wait. I don’t see a match between Pat and Jane. I lowered the levels a bit at and see that all four women match each other on Chromosome 5 and that they do indeed match and triangulate:

Pat and Jane Gedmatch

We know that Cathy and Jane have a Frazer ancestor born about 1802. Cathy and Pat share a Frazer ancestor b. about 1778. There is still a mystery as to how Jennifer fits in. She had a J. Frazer ancestor, that I guessed was a Jane Frazer. I further guessed that this Jane was a sister of the Archibald that married Catherine Parker. This theory still makes sense. Jennifer has subsequently found out that her ancestor was indeed named Jane Frazer/Frazier.

Summary on Pat’s Autosomal DNA Results

  • Pat didn’t seem to have as many matches as her second cousin Bill. This means that Bill just seemed to get extra Frazer DNA including from the more distant James Line.
  • Pat did shed some light on the common cousin Frazer ancestors that her family and my family share: James and Violet
  • Pat’s DNA resulted in a new TG. This will need more analysis as to where that TG is pointing to as far as in common Frazer ancestors
  • A comparison of Pat and her 2nd cousin Bill’s matches on Chromosome 6 helped to untangle some endogamy in the family (multiple Frazer lines due to marriages of relatives).
  • Pat’s DNA solidified a TG with a genetic genealogist who didn’t originally test to show any specific Frazer ancestry

2 thoughts on “More On Frazer DNA”

  1. Interested in your Lovat comment. It seems to me that we have two Archibalds around the 1700s. One in Rossmore and one in Dunnecliggan, near Donagmore. My G7father married a Ruth Cheadle and has many descendants. I could not read the family tree on your site, not enough definition.
    We also have a Lovat tradition and I am presently putting some ideas together – see website.
    Regards, Hugh

    1. Thanks Hugh,
      My main genealogy web page is here:
      There are 2 Frazer genealogy versions. The first has a more exclusive genealogy – especially on the James Line. The second called production update has a more inclusive genealogy, if that makes sense. The one that is not the production update version probably has more images and text. There should also be a link to a paper that Michael Fraser-Allen wrote on his take on the early Frazer traditions. This link is near the bottom of the introduction page.

      I had not heard of Donaghmore, so that is quite interesting. I was able to find that place on a Google map, but not the other places you mention.


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